Visual Studio 2013 has a cool new feature called Browser Link. You can read about it here and here. It doesn’t seem to work flawlessly yet, according to a colleague of mine but nevertheless it’s a great feature.

If you want to enable browser link for static html files you must do something extra by adding a StaticFileHandler to your Web.config and make sure you set runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests to true:

<system.webServer>
  <handlers>
    <add name="Browser Link for HTML" path="*.html" verb="*"
         type="System.Web.StaticFileHandler, System.Web, Version=4.0.0.0,
               Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"
         resourceType="File" preCondition="integratedMode" />
  </handlers>
  <modules runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests="true" />
</system.webServer>

This is all well documented so it shouldn’t pose a problem. I had everything configured and ready to go but I kept getting a ‘No current connections’ message in the Browser Link Dashboard when hitting http://localhost/

BrowserLinkDashboard

After reading the documentation again, checking my config again and Googling around, I thought: maybe I shouldn’t hit http://localhost/ but instead visit http://localhost/index.html. Not sure why but it started working! Apparently, the static file handler doesn’t run when not explicitly invoking a *.html page?

The strange thing is, now that I’ve hit /index.html once, I can’t reproduce the problem anymore. No matter how I enter the site, Browser Link works. But if you ever encounter this problem, try visiting the page you want directly and do not depend on the default page.

Ronald Wildenberg

Author Ronald Wildenberg

Coming from an Artificial Intelligence background, turned developer after graduating. Interested in the tiny programming language details that make your life simpler but also in high-level designs that solve business problems in the most efficient way. And everything in between of course.

More posts by Ronald Wildenberg
10 December 2013

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